Laura Geringer Books
Available: hardcopy, paperback, Kindle
Twelve-year-old Heidi seems to have just realized that her family is very different than other kids her age. She lives in Reno with her Mom who has "a bum brain," and Bernadette an adopted neighbor lady who has "angora phobia." [Heidi's words for a fear of leaving her apartment.] Heidi does the shopping and pays for it with money she wins from the Laundromat slot machine. She doesn't go to school. Bernadette teaches her at home. Still Heidi has more questions than Bernadette can answer. Like where did she and her mother come from? Who's her father? And what's the meaning of her mama's word "soof." Heidi finds an old camera with film in it and has it developed. Except for one picture of her mother, the pictures are of strangers. When she shows them to her mother, her mother becomes upset. Convinced that they are a link to her family history, Heidi tries to track down identities of the people in the photographs.
Heidi's personal quest to learn the truth about her past is the compelling mystery that drives the story. And the world that she lives in is fascinating for the reader, but at the same time, is presented as normal from Heidi's naïve viewpoint. I really liked this story.